Fred belongs to: Royal British Legion Seaman's Mess
Fred was born in South Shields and went to Ocean Road School. He worked on the tug boats before going to sea in the merchant navy when he was 17.
Fred was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 5 December 2005. The interview took place at the Interviewee's living room and lasted 1 hour, 1 minute and 3 seconds.
Training and learning the ropes
"All you learnt was from the bottom of the ladder"
All you learnt was from the bottom of the ladder. You went to the bottom of the ladder, and you did the first job, which was a catering job which was washing dishes, looking after a couple of officers, keeping their rooms clean, making their beds and helping with the dinners, you know, serving the dinners and all that, which was quite interesting. So I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it while I was there.
Well, I think, I think you did so long, I think you did about two years and then you went to the pool which was the shipping office and they had a look at your reports, and if you had good reports, like good discharges, there used to be a VG on, very good, they used to look at your papers and think, “oh well, I think we’ll shift you up one,” so I went from cabin boy, I think, with two years of cabin boy and then I went to an assistant steward, and I was assistant steward for quite a while on different ships.
Fred has 14 memories in the memorynet:
- The catering boy's wages
- Homesickness and adjusting to life at sea
- Training and learning the ropes
- The Hudson Bay
- Keeping clean
- Leisure time in the merchant navy
- Making music on the ship
- Lifeboat drill
- Icebergs and dangers
- The Seaman's Mess
- Fred's accordion
- Mess night
- Seaman's Mess
- South Shields Royal British Legion Seaman's Mess tie